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Button Back on Top at Albert Park

Jenson Button and his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton dominated Friday afternoon's second free practice session for Sunday's 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

Button, who won the race for Brawn in 2009 and then for McLaren in 2010, will be chasing a hat-trick on Sunday while Hamilton, victorious here in 2008, will bid to end Button’s streak.

Button’s best lap of 1:25.854 was almost a second faster than the one that took Mark Webber’s Red Bull to the top in the opening free practice session.

Glass half-full for bullish Button

McLaren star optimistic that he can add to his back-to-back wins at Albert Park thanks to approach taken by his team

by Matthew Clayton

McLaren’s Jenson Button has backed the aggressive approach taken by his team as it attempts to turn around its lacklustre pre-season testing form.

The 2009 World Champion said on Thursday that a new exhaust system brought to Albert Park this weekend was the right way for McLaren to address a worrying lack of speed and reliability over the last two months.

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McLaren duo back in the game

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were pleasantly surprised to find themselves the Friday pace-setters by Matthew Clayton

McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, first and second after Friday practice at the Qantas Australian Grand Prix, admitted that their performance was a pleasant surprise after a troublesome pre-season testing campaign.

Two by two

Tim Collings looks at the quarter of F1 newcomers

Four new faces will be driving into the unknown on Sunday when they join 20 more experienced men on the grid for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Two Latin Americans and two Europeans, the new boys make their Formula One racing debuts at Albert Park, as the circuit hosts the first race of the year once again.

Ricciardo ready to roll

Young Australian Daniel Ricciardo will make his on-track debut at a Grand Prix this weekend – and he’s impatient to get started

by Matthew Clayton

Daniel Ricciardo is less than 48 hours away from his on-track debut at a Formula One race weekend.

The young West Australian admits he’s a bundle of nervous energy as the countdown to his first 90-minute free practice session for Scuderia Toro Rosso continues.

“There will be nerves on Friday, for sure,” he said.

Rear-view mirror - Part 2 - Aussies in F1

If you’re heading down to Albert Park this weekend, don’t blink – you might miss a chance to see one of the Aussie drivers who made their own assault on the F1 scene before Mark Webber’s sterling efforts rekindled home interest in the World Championship.

The highlight will be the planned appearance of our two World Champions, Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones, as they take part in a special parade lap before Sunday’s big race.

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